Men’s Step 0 – Day 1

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It’s clear no one seems able to stay sober without being part of an honest, open and safe recovery group. I can’t do this alone. The measure of my commitment is the measure of my recovery. All forms of practicing lust must stop. All of it effects my thinking. Stop feeding it through the eyes, fantasy and memory. I must stop and then surrender.

To get comfortable being honest and accountable, but also to get out of my own head and empathize with others.

So far, I have a temporary sponsor in Sean, but Brian has reached out to me. I may also reach out to Paul our group leader who is a little further ahead in the restoration of his family. I also reach out to my mentor, Bob, regularly.

• No viewing online pornography
• No flirting with women
• No sexually-charged movies or television shows
• No checking out women’s bodies—only look at people from the chin-up • • • No lying
• No staying up late
• No aimless browsing of the internet
• I will attend two 12-Step meetings each week.
• I will do daily Step Work.
• I will reach out to my Sponsor when I am triggered, preoccupied or upset.
• I will check-in daily with my sponsor
• I will take accountability when my wife or partner has a trauma reaction.
• I will take a time-out when I feel myself losing my temper with my partner or children.
• I will take a daily inventory and when I am wrong I will promptly admit it.
• I will work to be humble, honest, and accountable in my daily interactions.
• I will practice gratitude daily in a gratitude journal.

Stopping is stopping everything. But it’s also real repentance and making a real 180 turn in the opposite direction. It is also coming to the end of myself. That surrender of myself in charge gives God the room to work in my heart and be at the helm instead of me.

The first part was the section that talked about committing myself to the group and "the measure of such commitment will be the measure of my recovery". It help me realized I will not experience recovery if I lack commitment.

To be able to come out of shame and fear.

Other members of the group.

I have set a boundary to not login to online dating apps. to not be on my phone on social media or washing movies pass 10:30 pm

That after we made a decision to stop, then as we choose to surrender, then the power of God can take over our powerlessness over lust.

Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery

I’ve tried doing it myself over 20 years without having any success. I have come to learn that I’m not alone.

To be connected with the those individuals attending each week. We are not alone in this recovery, we have a community that cares for our recovery.

Individual that are commented to the program. Someone you can trust and fill safe with.

Emotional and physical space you need in order to be the real you without the pressure from others to be something that you are not.

Let go of all the guilt, shame, emotional loneliness, and believe that god loves me.

I need to quit addiction in all forms.

Because I can’t do this alone.

Kyle Crowley

Boundaries on my phone and other devices

We have to choose to stop. God is not going to stop for us. When we choose to stop then the power of god becomes effective in us

participate in the fellowship

listen to others struggles, develop empathy, share struggles/victories, proxy experences/lessons

John W
John H
Jared F
Aaron R
Charles
Craig
Leonard
Ben F
Ryan L UT
Caden

No regular TV by myself
No checking out women's bodies
no looking at/for online women
no aimless browsing
Be honest/truthful
show integrity

I must do what I can and get out of the way so God can do what I can't do for myself

Without connection with others in the program, it's almost certain that I will start again.
"We can't be sober in one area while acting out in another." - including masturbation to a blank wall.

"We stop living only and always inside our own heads." - I've lived my whole life inside my own head. I need to be able to get outside myself and participate in reality.

"The program doesn't tell us how to stop... - it shows us how to keep from starting again." - I can't rely upon someone else (including God) to make me stop. I stop; then in surrender, the power of God becomes effective in me.

I was designed for connection and without it, I will fail at my goal to never look at pornography again. I can't work the program on my own.

I don't yet have a sponsor, but I will attend the next Thursday night meeting and contact Grant B. to ask how to get a sponsor.

I haven't printed out anything or talked with my sponsor.

I have set up a governor app on my phone that my wife has the password to. I have removed YouTube and Google/web browsers from my phone. I am confessing to my wife when I feel attracted to another woman or have an image of another woman in my head.

It means that I take ownership of my actions; I don't pass off agency of myself to another, even to God. He made me to have agency over my mind and body, and so by acting in the way He designed me, it is His power that protects me. I also have to surrender my will (not my decisions) to Him and not let my own comfort get the better of me.

Bringing the inside out. Talking about my thoughts and emotions helps me to be more aware of them and usually ends up showing that its not as bad as it felt.

Sharing helps us open up and taking action towards what we truly want. It also allows us the opportunity to listen and give service to others.

I do daily check ins with my wife and I’m going to be doing this course with another friend who i can share back and forth with. Help each other stay accountable

I don’t have any set and printed. I have blockers on my phone.

Personally making the decision to change and a desire to heal opens the door. When we surrender our control we let go of the controlling attitude and allow God to enter into our life and begin to share insight and give guidance and strength

Favorite quote is "The program doesn't tell us how to stop–we had done that a thousand and one times–it shows us how to keep from starting again. We had it backwards; before, we always wanted the therapist, spouse, or God to do the stopping for us–to fix us. Now, we stop; and then, in our surrender, the power of God becomes effective in us. So powerful for me. Changing my mindset to focus on God and his power to help me 'not start again' has been a much more successful recovery mindset for me.

Empathy and validation from those who REALLY understand what we're going through and who are also going through it with us is so powerful. In fact it is the power I don't have. Without having others, the fellowship, to work with in recovery, i'm back to trying to do everything myself - which has never worked for me long term.

Others in group. It seems that there are specific people that i've begun to reach out to for specific lust triggers. They're brothers in recovery that I know have a personal strong connection with those certain lust triggers and we've had good conversations with them. They seem to be my go to because of the strong empathy and validation I receive from their sharing their own experiences dealing with the exact same challenges.

The boundaries I've set for progressive victory of lust, is defining that a slip - is when I have intentionally sought lust but haven't crossed the boundary of pornography, masturbation, or sexually acting out. If I "slip" more than 3 times within a week I consider that a relapse and not "progressive victory over lust" and I reset my sobriety.

To me it means handing over our pride and the thought of "i can do this myself if I really just buckle down and do it" to God. I still have to buckle down of course, but I'm not doing it in an effort to just "take care of this embarrassing problem" but to turn my life and my will over to the care of God.

Two parts really stuck out to me. The first is this quote: "There can be no relief from the obsession of lust while still practicing the acts of lust in any form." The second one was: "There can be no true recovery from addiction if we allow it to persist in any area, whether in our thinking or in our acting out." These parts stuck out because recently I found myself wanting a lust hit and seeking it out by looking at a pinterest page of a girl I knew back in high school. There were some triggering images she had put up there which made me start to fantasize. I then sought out her instagram page and found it and started to look at her pictures, which were triggering per say (my justification). Even though I have sobriety of 2 years, this was a slip that started to clear off the old lustful pathways in my mind that I had previously traveled. These kind of actions erode the progress I have made and make it easier to travel down wrong paths again, which eventually lead to relapse. I had spiritually created something bad in my mind via fantasizing and seeing these triggering images and started to attribute them to this girl I used to know: I was fantasizing what life would be like in a lustful relationship with her as my wife and how much better life would be if she were my wife than my current wife; she seemed more "fun" (willing to act out my fantasies of lust) and actual fun (physically active) than my current "boring" wife. I felt bothered and shameful afterwards for the feelings of lust I was experiencing and now I had some hard work to do again: destroy this abominable creation I had formed in my mind and to stop fantasizing about having a different life.

"Experience has shown us that we must be part of others or we cannot maintain effective surrender, see ourselves rightly, or work the Steps. Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery." I think this statement on pg 64 really sums it up. We need to come out of ourselves and let others into our own lives. Attending meetings will help me stop being so self-absorbed and prepare me to be in a position to empathize with others, reach out and get the connection I'm needing.

My friends from my SAL meeting are great resources: Philip, Daniel, and Alex.

Bottom Lines:
No viewing of pornography (or sexually charged videos or shows)
No sex with self
No lying. I am radically honest.
No flirting with women
No fantasizing about life with other women
No streetlusting

Slips:
3 second rule (staring at women’s bodies)
I go to bed before or when my wife goes to bed (No staying up late to play video games)
No taking my phone into the bathroom unless door is wide open or I’m showering (I like listening to conference and/or intellectual talks while I shower)
No private correspondence with any woman other than spouse (text/email/phone calls)
No browsing social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, etc.) or performing web searches of women (whether I personally know them or not) or looking them up on LDS tools
No visiting or reading any sexually related web forums (subreddits, etc. even if there’s a pseudo-religious aspect to them)

I Will:
Each day before I go to work, I will perform step work, journaling, and/or guided meditation to connect with God
Each week I will make at least one outbound call
If I feel triggered, I will seek the feeling behind the trigger
If the trigger is too much for me, I will call a fellow member and surrender to God
Every other week, I will contact my sponsor
Each week, I will attend an SA meeting

We can't have lasting recovery without sobriety. Continuing to act out renews the negative pathways in my brain and keeps them fresh and active and keeps me to chained to addictive thought processes and habits. That's the first part. As I stop and try to have sobriety, I'm going to be tempted to travel down these default pathways I've trained my brain to take. These "shortcuts" to feeling relief and soothing have an allure to them: they are quick, effortless, and provide instant pleasure and gratification. But I can choose to take a different route now. I can choose to surrender that pull, that desire, that urge, that LUST...to God! I can give Him my struggle. I can yield to Him. I can give Him my agency and He will help hone it and guide me in my desperate need. As I do so, His power will be made manifest. His enabling power will transform me 24 hrs at a time to become stronger in Him and to find progressive victory over lust. He truly will make me whole again. As I surrender, He will help me slowly destroy my old mind and self, and help me rise from those ashes as a new person.

That we must be part of a program or we can not maintain effective surrender. Without regular participation in the fellowship, there will not be real recovery.

To hear other's experiences and have hope based on seeing them be successful in the program. To get outside of ourselves and out of our own heads where we can justify and minimize all day long.

My accountability partner.

1. Don't watch TV alone except male sports / news / building shows
2. Don't surf for shows with inappropriate content
3. Don't lookup or read movie reviews looking for inappropriate content
4. Don't use the internet alone except for work / email / LDS related sites / answer questions
5. Never click on links that are sex / sexy picture related
6. Don't self stimulate
7. Don't fantasize about someone naked or having sex with someone, including my wife
8. Don't do anything voyeuristic
9. Don't search for pictures of women/girls/actresses on internet
10. Don't use phone in bathroom. Always treat it as an internet device.
11. Don't objectify women / girls
12. Use home computers only for appropriate activity
13. No photo surfing on home computer
14. Avoid clothing catalogs and magazines with inappropriate ads
15. Don't say negative or derogatory things to your wife
16. Don't let self hatred come out as resentment of others
17. Don't make sexual or sexualized comments, unless appropriate in the setting
18. What can I do today for my wife to help her feel safe
19. Stop trying to control everything
20. Respect my wife's boundaries

We have to take the action to stop. We must choose to stop. Then we must choose to surrender what we feel powerless over to God, so that He can strengthen us and allow that moment or temptation to pass.

Must be part of others to make it work

Risk of self disclosure, very true in my case of pride

Because my attachment and connection is messed up. I need to connect with others who have similar experiences to know that I'm not alone

My network of recovery brothers, also would like to reach out to new people

No phone in the bathroom, no streaming videos during the work day,

Just that I can do hard things, I can let God drive the bus.

I liked the idea that the program shows how to keep from starting again, that we need to stop and then surrender to God and allow Him to help us stay stopped.

Participation is essential because nobody can do this on their own. We need the strength and support of others who are working the program to help give us strength to go on.

I reach out to someone every day, not just my sponsor.

No surfing, No YouTube that is not specifically gone to. no laptop after 10:30pm

This means to me that I first need to make the effort to stop acting out, then as I surrender the urges to go back to those practices God will give me the help I need, if I will go to Him sincerely and with real intent.

I got from the reading that I need to attend meetings and stop acting out. One line that stuck out to me was, "The program doesn't tell us how to stop - we had done that a thousand and one times - it shows us how to keep from starting again." That's me to a T. I have stopped so many times, I now need the tools to not start again. The meetings I've already been attending have been terrific in helping with that.

The fellowship program, the meetings, seem to be key for me. For me it helps me have people to be accountable to. It helps me also to know that I'm not alone. That others are going through similar circumstances and are able to make it. I've met many people with much more sobriety than me and that gives me hope. I've also met lots of people with much less sobriety than me and that helps me want to help them and be there for them.

I reach out to my wife daily, if possible. This is good for me even though we are currently separated. My sponsor has also encouraged me to reach out to other group members daily. I'm committing myself to call someone from my SAL group every day. I meet with my therapist once a week.

Some boundaries I have set for myself and been following:
- No phone in the bathroom.
- No social media.
- No aimless "browsing" the internet.
- No TV or movies with anything sexual in them. Check IMDB and/or Vidangel for content. Use Vidangel if needed/necessary or don't watch it.

Some other positive "Yes" bottom lines I have been following are:
- Attend 12-step meetings weekly. This includes Saturday SAL, and Tuesday/Thursday ARP meetings.
- Daily contact with wife. At the very least a text to let her know I love her and I'm thinking of her. If she's up for it, then a phone call is even better, and best is time spent together in person.
- Study the gospel daily. Can be scriptures, conference talks, Come Follow Me, or other.
- Pray out loud every morning and every evening.
- Study recovery materials daily.
- Complete all weekly therapy assignments.
-

I think it means to first stop the acting out. Stop the additive behavior. Then as we turn our lives over to God and surrender our will to his, he can help us to continue in our recovery and become who He would have us be.

A couple parts, we stop feeding our compulsion in all its forms, I stop listing, fantasy, resenting I don’t just stop in one area and think I am recovering I stop in all areas character defects and all. And I liked where it says one of the fringe benefits of going to a lot of meetings is that it gets us out of ourselves. I struggle with pride as a main character flaw which is self. So going to many meetings is what it takes to help me get outside of self.

To defeat pride, release what I have been holding onto and to make connections in a safe healthy way.

I try and reach out to those I sponsor and to those I have connections with in meetings.

I commit to not take the phone in the bathroom or bedroom. To daily step work and attend multiple meetings a week. I am also setting a new boundary of having safety feature placed on my phone.

It tells me I need to truly practice surrender in all its forms by identifying when I feel triggered and getting outside my own head to surrender to god and another person. Instead of just wanting to do this I need to do this.

I do believe in the importance of associating with others in recovery in order to stay sober. It is a constant reminder of "how it was then and how it is now" for me.
We pray to be led to another sex addict. I need to include this phrase in my prayers.
"We stop" feeding lust, resentment and anger. I must strive to not entertain lust in public settings and stop getting angry over everyday small things that seem big at the time.

For me this has been and still is fundamental to living in recovery. I believe what Doug Weiss says..."If I'm not working on my recovery I am working on my next relapse." Also, living in recovery requires helping others. I can do better helping others and commit to doing so.

Sponsees, my children and friends.

No tv or movies by myself
No traveling alone
No cell phone in the bathroom
No water parks
No mindless internet use
Not picking a magazine that has the potential to be triggering...like People magazine etc. Most magazines are a waste anyway

This is so powerful to have actually experienced the Power of surrender in real time. The most profound experience, to which I can never deny, was Sept 11, 2005. God stepped in when my heart softened to the point where he could and I would welcome Him. This happened when I surrendered and was willing to face myself and and tell the truth. When I stopped with an honest heart and willingness to do whatever it would take, God instantly helped me. The experience was and is real in my life. I know God can only help me if I am willing and honest about my desire to live in recovery. I am grateful to have experienced Alma 34:31 and to some measure all of the Twelve Promises. I am grateful to God for his Grace towards me...am grateful to be a believer in God who is my Father and who knows me and loves me. I believe in the power of surrender. When I am humble and honest then take the actions of surrender...I experience Gods power in my life. I will be more diligent in my commitment to surrender in real time...just do it!

To not watch tv by myself unless it is something my wife and I discuss and feel safe with. To not seek attention from other women. To check in daily. To work on recovery daily. To use my tools daily.

We surrender to god our weaknesses and then he can help them become our strengths

The importance of companionship and participation in groups tied to success in the program. I guess it makes a lot of sense, as I know that I failed so many times to succeed.

Because I can learn from their experiences, and they can learn from mine, from my mistakes and failures.

I am going to reach out to my brother, to my friend Joseph, and I would like to reach out to a couple of the men from the group.

I will not look at pornography; I will not take and use my phone in the bathroom, I will limit "mindless browsing" to 3 minutes or less; I will spend time with my wife.

I have struggled so much on my own, it has been exhausting. Once I stop, and fail on my own, and surrender, then I am open to receiving the power of God and applying the atonement in my life.

The concept of getting outside of yourself, it was a foreign construct to me prior to hearing the discussion and this reading.

Both personal accountability and to aid in the progress of others.

My spouse.

I currently have none defined

We stop completely, and when the emotions or cravings or trigger arrives, we instead reach out.

Several. "The measure of such commitment will be the measure of your recovery". "Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery"; getting outside of my own head. There is power in connection with others. A power that I can't describe, but it gets me out of my head and helps me to focus outward.

I often don't really "want" to go to meetings, but I always go anyway. I find that my desire to attend is equal to the degree which I'm in my own head and self-obsessed. Once I'm there, it pulls me back into reality and I leave much happier and more grounded. Getting involved has helped me to be a part of the solution for myself, and hopefully for others.

I'm still not very good at reaching out. I have a few friends in the program that I'm comfortable with. Sometimes I text others that I feel a connection with, but this is rare. I commit to reaching out to Kyle from group. I just texted him to see when he can chat.

I have a few of them. I don't take my phone into the bathroom, I try to leave work at work, and when I travel I don't turn on the TV in hotels. I need to revisit these and perhaps update them or consider new ones.

It's like magic! I realize now that God was just waiting for me to ask Him the right way for help. I needed to be willing to do whatever it takes to stop completely, for good. Once I was willing to really surrender, it was like God said "I've been waiting for you to be ready and now you will feel my blessings for you". It's been wonderful! My attitude and perspective have completely changed. I now know I have to surrender to Him each day and let go of things I cannot change, have courage to change the things I can, and ask for wisdom to know the difference. Once day at a time!

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"'We participated in the fellowship of the program.' No one seems able to stay sober and progress in recovery without it, though some try. For most of us, without associating in some way with other recovering individuals, there is no lasting sobriety and none of the fringe benefits of recovery, growth, freedom and joy...We don't try to explain this; it is simply a fact." (p. 63)

"Fellowship is that crucial to our recovery. We can't do it alone...The measure of such commitment will be the measure of your recovery." (p. 63-64)

"We cannot put this strongly enough: Experience has shown us that we must be part of others or we cannot maintain effective surrender, see ourselves rightly, or work the Steps. Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery." (p. 64)

"There can be no relief from the obsession of lust while still practicing the acts of lust in any form...We stop feeding lust...We stop feeding lust through the eyes, the fantasy, and the memory...We stop living only and always inside our own heads...As we become aware of other addictions that are part of our lives, we pray for willingness to surrender each one." (p. 64)

"What we are really saying when we start meeting with others is, 'I have to stop; please help me.'" (p. 65)

"The program doesn't tell us how to stop - we had done that a thousand and one times - it shows us how to keep from starting again. We had it backwards; before, we always wanted the therapist, spouse, or God to do the stopping for us - to fix us. Now, we step; and then, in our surrender, the power of God becomes effective in us." (p. 65)

This stuff is so good - both for my addiction to lust and also for my addiction to resentment and control.

I need the fellowship of other addicts. I need that connection and that support. I need to be able to talk to others about what I'm thinking, feeling, and telling myself.

I can't do this alone, which at times I feel like I want to do.

Because only in giving of myself to others can I get outside of myself. And by giving of myself to others and putting my trust in someone other than me, it can help me put my trust in God as well.

It's lack of connection that has gotten me into the mess of addiction.

It's true connection with God and others that will keep me out of addiction one day and one moment at a time.

Cameron T
David K
David P
Daniel W
Ed C
Mike W
Tony H
Peter K

I will practice the "chin up" approach in all interactions.
I will stay away from Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social networks.
I will be accountable for my use of YouTube and will talk to Becky & others about my use of that platform.
I will avoid browsing the internet.
I will not stay up later than Becky.
I will practice surrender (repeating the 3rd Step & Serenity Prayer) if I'm feeling temptations to lust or create stories in my head.
I will do the same when I feel temptation to control or react in negative ways with my kids.

I will think about what narratives I'm telling myself and be curious about why I'm believing those narratives.
I will work the Steps as a way to connect with God and self-assess.

Now I do what I can to clear my head and heart of the false narratives and junk that I've put in there. Then, as I do that, God can communicate with me again.

He's always there and ready to communicate. But if I keep putting mud in the "living water," He can't communicate with me even though He may be trying - I just can't hear or see or feel Him.

As I stop, then I practice surrender one temptation at a time and THEN "the power of God becomes effective in [me]." But that equation doesn't work consistently in any other way.

This is great stuff.

I'm glad I completed my goal today.

The needing other members to help us out of this hole part stuck out to me today. I wish I wasn't so afraid of reaching out to people and going to meetings. I want to understand that more but I think the way of getting out of it is to just do it. Just go to a meeting.

For me, its the connection. Knowing that the other person is experiencing what it is like to be a sex addict like me makes it easier to get out of my head. To get out of ruts and to start moving forward.

I want to be committed to reaching out to a few guys I am comfortable reaching out to.

That is something I still want to do and sit down and write out my boundaries.

That we have to stop and then God gives us strength for the rest. To pick up the pieces. To become better.